Job Title: Communications Professional
Type of Company: I work for a Fortune 100 health care insurance company
Education: BA, English and Textual Studies, Syracuse University
Previous Experience: I've held various communications and project management jobs for a major insurance company.
Job Tasks: I advise and ghost write for company executives. I help frame company business strategy in terms appropriate for all employees. I create recognition programs to highlight employees who are making a difference. I create and manage contests to help promote strategic messages. I write and produce videos to help employees understand company initiatives. I review and edit e-mail messages, PowerPoint presentations and other materials. I create talking points to help managers talk about challenging topics.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Some of the good things about my job are: Influencing the culture, being creative and helping people look at things differently. I work independently and for the most part can shape my own day.
Some of the challenging things: Sometimes I have to work a lot of extra hours to get a project done. There is a lot of pressure to deliver everything perfectly every time.
1. Take classes that help you be well-rounded: psychology, art, theory, politics. Understanding what motivates people, being creative and challenging the norm without ruffling feathers are important skills.
2. Practice, practice, practice grammar.
3. Take as many different types of communication and project management courses as possible: Marketing, Public Relations, Broadcast Journalism, Writing, etc.
4. Don't be afraid to take a lateral position.
5. Get involved in extracurricular activities but only what you can handle. Knowing more about what's going on where you go to school or where you work, makes you an even more valuable asset.
6. Pay attention. Be present. Listen and really hear what people have to say. Everyone has a story. Learn their story. Don't be so anxious to talk or contribute. By listening and processing what you hear, when you do contribute, you will provide gems!
Additional Thoughts: I'm not just a "writer." Though the most obvious product I deliver is my writing, those who work with me understand the layers of value that I can offer. For example, I have a tremendous network of contacts in my company and know a lot about what's going on in the company and how to make things happen.
I've learned the value of influence. I have a good reputation and am a credible source for information and advice (because I pay attention). So I am often asked for my opinion on how to do things successfully.
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